How to Take Advantage of School Breaks Part 2: Tips for Squeezing in Travel When the Kids Are Not in School

Tips for Traveling Over a Week Long School Break

Week long school breaks are my absolute favorite! I love the time we have off together and the memories we are able to make. For us, we have a fall break, winter break, and spring break.  These have been fantastic times to travel for our family! Even though we don’t have as many week long breaks during the school year as we do long weekend breaks, I still try to plan some kind of getaway for each of them. Some things to keep in mind for week long travel is the weather, especially if you’re traveling in the winter (snow/ice) or spring (rain/thunderstorms). Week long breaks can also draw more crowds, so keep that in mind when choosing your destination!

More Things to Consider for Travel Over School Breaks:

  • Fall break tends to be a more budget friendly time to travel
  • Winter/Spring break travel tend to be more expensive
  • Pay attention to the weather during all seasons of travel & pack accordingly
  • Expect airports, roads, destinations to be more crowded during holiday travel
  • Week long travel equals more time exploring your destination
  • You can visit farther away destinations over week long breaks
  • Week long travel allows a day or two of down time before returning to school/work

Fall Break Destination Recommendations:

The week during Thanksgiving break is an excellent time to take a quick trip with the family! We like to head out over the weekend and return on Thanksgiving Day so that we don’t miss any time, or delicious food, with our families. Traveling during this week seems to be very budget friendly and the locations are not as crowded, either!

For us, returning home on Thanksgiving Day has worked out very well! We try to avoid those busy airports and road conditions the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We like to book morning flights on Thanksgiving Day. We make it home in the early afternoon, just in time for dinner! Below are some of our favorite fall break travel destinations.

Our first family trip to DC!

Washington DC – Visiting DC over Thanksgiving break was a dream come true for my family! The weather was amazing and the crowds were small. I hear that a lot of people that work in DC leave the city for the holiday, so it’s an ideal time to visit. This is one of my most favorite family trips to date! We packed in so much during the week and saw so many historical sites. The only downside to traveling to DC during this week is that the White House is closed to tours because they are decorating for Christmas.

We couldn’t wait to show the boys all the monuments!

Click here for my complete guide to visiting Washington DC over Thanksgiving Break!

It really is grand!

Grand Canyon, AZ – Another fantastic destination for fall break is Grand Canyon National Park! It’s a lot less crowded this time of year since it’s considered the off season. We didn’t have to fight many crowds at the viewpoints and the lodging was a lot less costly in November. We really enjoyed the weather and cooler temps while hiking, too!

We were all so excited to finally see the Grand Canyon in person!

Click here for my complete guide to visiting Grand Canyon National Park!

We even got to go inside the statue!

New York, NY – Visiting the Big Apple over fall break is the most ideal time to go! Not only did we get to explore the entire city and all the famous landmarks, we also got to check out the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons being inflated, we got to watch the parade from our hotel room, and the entire city was also decorated for Christmas! I feel like we got the best of both worlds in regards to Thanksgiving and Christmas. This trip was truly magical and we made some memories that we will never forget!

I can’t believe we got to see the parade floats this close!

Click here for my complete guide to visiting New York City!

Winter Break Destination Recommendations:

Traveling over the two week winter break can be a fun change of scenery and sometimes our trips are even a part of our Christmas gifts to our family! We love to hit the slopes and snowboard, but we’ve also traveled to other parts of the US over the holiday break and had tons of fun! Below is one of our favorite winter break destinations.

It never looks like this at Christmastime in Texas!

Winter Park, CO – Since we live in Texas, I love to hit the road and head north to the mountains to get that feel of having a white Christmas! We also love to snowboard together and my boys are having a blast learning each year we visit! Winter Park has some excellent ski and snowboarding conditions, plus there’s plenty of activities like tubing, snowshoeing, snow mobile rentals, and even dogsledding! If you’re looking for a fun winter getaway, this is the place to go!

We spent New Year’s Day snowboarding together!

Click here for my complete guide to visiting Winter Park!

Spring Break Destination Recommendations:

Spring break is one of our favorite times of the year to travel! Usually for us, spring fever has set in and it’s so fun to get away with the family to regroup and recharge! We’ve traveled to several destinations over this school break, but below are my three favorites!

Utah rocks!

Moab, UT – Moab has been on my bucket list forever and I am so, so happy that we decided to visit over our spring break a few years ago. The weather was a little chilly, but it was perfect since we did a lot of hiking! We didn’t have to worry about timed-entry permits for Arches National Park and there weren’t too many crowds at all. This was our first trip Utah and it definitely won’t be our last!

This is another top favorite family trip!

Click here for my complete guide to visiting Moab, UT!

Baker Beach in San Francisco

California to Oregon – We spent an unforgettable week traveling from San Francisco to Cannon Beach over spring break last year. It was everything we hoped it would be and more. On our road trip, we explored San Francisco, Redwoods National Park, and Cannon Beach, Oregon. We got really lucky and had gorgeous weather the entire week. I highly recommend road tripping along the Pacific Coast Highway and I think spring break is an excellent time to go! Nothing was crowded at all and I cannot even describe the landscapes in each of these places!

The views along the Pacific Coast Highway!

Click here for my complete Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip guide!

This week at the beach was a dream!

Orange Beach, AL – Our most recent family trip was to Orange Beach, just last month! Again, we got extremely lucky with unseasonably warm weather so early in the season. This trip was so relaxing, we didn’t do much besides play at the beach and eat delicious food at night! If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, check this beach destination out!

These boys had the best time!

Plan Like a Pro!

Whether you’re traveling over a weekend or for an entire week, you should plan your trip like a pro! Here are some ways to do that!

  • Read travel blogs (like for inspiration.
  • Check out Pinterest for more information specific to your destination.
  • Google search free activities or “best attractions” at your destination.
  • If you’re visiting a city, look into the CityPASS for additional savings.
  • Have a plan in mind, choose at least one thing to do or see each day.
  • Make sure you pack for the right weather, check the forecasts ahead of time.
  • Allow some down time, either before, during, or after your trip.
  • Expect some travel delays and keep a positive attitude.
  • Take tons of photos!

I hope you have found these tips helpful and that you’re able to squeeze in some amazing adventures over the next school break! Be sure to check out Part 1 – Traveling Over Long Weekend School Breaks!


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